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Chelsea pauses ticket price rise following ESL withdrawal

Premier League football club Chelsea has performed a u-turn on season ticket prices just days after a fan backlash led to its withdrawal from the European Super League project.

The Stamford Bridge club is to freeze ticket prices ahead of the 2021-22 season and said a decision on 2022-23 would be made at a later date – with the Blues having indicated at the start of last week, according to the Football London news site, that prices would go up by five per cent.

The club said in a statement that the decision on ticket prices had been made following consultation last week with supporters. Prices range from £76 for an adult general sale ticket to less than £50 in some areas.

Chelsea said the freeze means season ticket holders in general admission areas will pay the same as a decade ago in 2011-12. Individual Premier League and domestic cup matchday tickets will also be frozen, while information on season ticket renewals for next season will be communicated to season ticket holders over the coming weeks.

“It’s been over 400 days since we were last able to welcome a capacity crowd to Stamford Bridge, and we are very excited to welcome you back,” Chelsea said in a statement.

Chelsea also said it would consult with supporters over the coming year about future prices in the new-look West Upper Stand, which will become Westview following a complete transformation. The section will feature padded seats, a new concourse and hospitality offering and big screens.

“These changes are in line with the feedback we received from season ticket holders,” a spokesperson said.

“We will be rewarding season ticket holders in the West Stand Upper by holding the current price they pay for next season to try out the new facilities. A new pricing model will be adopted from 2022-23 onwards, with an account manager on hand to answer any queries and provide support to season ticket holders.

“There is no commitment to take up their seats the following season when prices will increase, and they will have the option of moving within the stand or to different parts of the stadium. Season ticket holders will be personally contacted by the club in the coming weeks to discuss the options for their seat.”

The club also said it is to install rail seating in the Matthew Harding Lower and Shed End Upper and Lower tiers to ensure Stamford Bridge is prepared should any future UK government decide to introduce safe standing. The change will result in a loss of just over 500 seats in the areas concerned.

Chelsea was one of 12 clubs that last week announced they would join a proposed new European Super League. Widespread opposition to the plan led to Chelsea announcing its intention to withdraw from the project within days, with other Premier League and European clubs soon following their lead.

Image: Zakarie Faibis /  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license / Cropped for size